From health to wealth — the ideas shared at Ireland's first-ever menopause event are for ALL women
Brought to you by Linwoods
Ireland's first-ever menopause event saw 250 women gather together in Dublin last week.
Being the first of its kind, The M Word campaign calls for an increased menopause education for GPs, for pharmacists, the workplace and of course, us women ourselves. Essentially, The M Word wants us to be able to shout about menopause and #makemenopausematter.
Now, whether you're decades away from the menopause or not, it matters to us all. The bottom line is, women's health matters and menopause is yet another area where it seems women can't so easily find the help they need.
During The M Word event at the Radisson St Helen's in Dublin, headline speaker Meg Mathews (former music industry insider and creator of MegsMenopause) talked about how important it is to find a GP you trust, something she credits with having got her through her own difficult transition through menopause.
Endocrinologist, Dr Mary Ryan, is one of Ireland's most popular speakers for menopause. She explained how vital it is for women from the age of 40 to finally put themselves first, and also talked about our pituitary gland — crucial for the balancing of hormones in the body — and how we need to ensure good, healthy eating and lifestyle habits to support this.
The Linwoods Team with Meg Mathews. Women at the event enjoyed sampling the range of Linwoods products, receiving a wonderful Linwoods goody bag full of healthy foods
Catherine O' Keeffe of WellnessWarrier.ie shared her four non-negotiable M Words also — MOT, menu, movement, and meet up.
Have an MOT
Get a bone density or DEXA scan (bone health really deserves extra care and attention coming up to, during and after menopause) and have blood tests where deficiencies can be spotted. Book a smear test and ensure you find a GP you trust and can keep this GP for life.
You are what you eat, so be sure it's only the best ladies. Catherine suggested everyone learn how to read and understand labels, but most importantly, stick to the fresh food aisle. Take in all the in-season fruits and veggies, and add real nutritional hits like Linwoods' flaxseed. Natural fresh food is much better for your pocket too.
We don't need to overcomplicate things, just move and stretch and ensure you're feeling strong and energised. Weight-bearing exercises are fantastic for bone health while the likes of running is super for mental health, especially if you run in a group. Join a dance class and you won't even realise you're working out!
Around the time of menopause, it's common for women to feel anxious, uneasy and some can really lose confidence. The lack of focus, brain fog and various other symptoms of menopause can so easily impact mental health, so keep seeing friends, make new friends by joining a book club, exercise group and so on. You'll be so glad you did.
Diane Danzebrink talked about one of the most serious aspects of menopause that women often don't feel confident enough to talk about — vaginal health. Besides being uncomfortable, vaginal atrophy, dryness and loss of libido can definitely take a toll on relationships too. The Fabulous Pharmacist, Laura Dowling, urged women to ask plenty of questions and find out from their doctor and pharmacist what their options are.
Another big taboo in society The M Word tackled head-on was... you said it — money.
Inez Murray, Head of the Global Banking Alliance for Women, shared incredible stories from around the world in regards to women and money. The message that women are an incredible investment was prevalent throughout.
Women reinvest 99 cents on the dollar back into their households while men reinvest 60. If given the chance and given access to finance, women pay back their loans quicker than men. So, take control of your finances as early as possible, ladies.
There's even further reason for this according to Niamh Prendergast, from Davy Private. She spoke about how empowering and vital it is that women take control of their finances. She spoke about maximising pension contributions (women will be hugely disadvantaged by retirement time because of career breaks to raise children and to care for ageing parents), aiming to have a year of emergency funds in a bank account and when we've achieved this, seek out the help of a trusted financial advisor who can help us invest.
Taking on the heaps of information and guidance that can lead us to live a much better and fuller life takes time, so does feeling confident and fulfilled, but it's so worth the effort. Whether you're decades away from menopause or not, the ideas shared can be applied to each and every woman. The message is, take care of yourself, and share in the movement of speaking out and pushing for better health care in times like these.
We deserve the very best after all.
Brought to you by Linwoods Healthfoods
Check out The M Word event online and My Second Spring for information and support across all things menopause, perimenopause and premature menopause and more.
The M Word event is supported by Linwoods Healthfoods, producers of healthy products like milled flaxseed which women find very helpful in managing symptoms of menopause, especially hot flushes and hormone imbalance.